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Election Ambassadors Corps

The Committee of Seventy is continuing its ELECTION AMBASSADOR PROGRAM, offering Philadelphia high school students an opportunity to observe polling places, learn about the electoral process and help ensure a smooth experience for voters on Election Day. More than 200 students participated during the 2015 primary election, assisting voters with questions about voting procedures and conducting a survey about possible election modernization reforms. Trainings are currently being scheduled by Seventy staff with city high schools.

In the weeks after polls close, participating students can submit their ideas for improving the election process or voter participation to the ELECTION INNOVATION CHALLENGE. This could include ideas to increase voter turnout, help inform voters about candidates or voter procedures, simplify the voting process or improve the voting experience for Philadelphians.

Winning proposals are selected based on their potential impact, creativity and innovation, viable application and grounding in research. Proposals recognized in Spring 2015 included a plan to produce nonpartisan GOTV commercials, boost millennial voter turnout, and offer election officials a menu of reforms to make voting easier. All submissions receive written feedback from Committee of Seventy staff, with winning proposals featured on seventy.org.

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Elections and Voting Hotline

Hotline volunteers work in Seventy's office on Election Day, answering calls to the 1-855-SEVENTY Hotline from voters, poll workers and others. Volunteers are available to help locate polling places, check voter registration and offer basic assistance with Election Day procedures. Reports of election law infractions or other serious issues are directed to the County Board of Elections and the District Attorney’s Office.

Voters with questions about the voting process in can also contact the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights at 1-866-OUR-VOTE, a nationwide voter assitance hotline. Voters needing assistance in Spanish can contact the National Association of Latino Elected Officials at 1-888-VE-Y-VOTA.

For questions about Seventy's Election Day call center, please contact Patrick Christmas at pchristmas@seventy.org.

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Nonpartisan Polling Place Observation

Seventy offers training in voting procedures and Election Day rules for individuals interested in observing polling places and helping voters in their neighborhood. Trained volunteers will be capable of answering basic questions about the voting process and, if necessary, directing voters, canvassers or others to the proper authority for further assistance. All nonpartisan poll observation trainings are open to the public.

Training for the upcoming November 3rd General Election will be on Friday, October 23, 5:30-6:30pm at 8 Penn Center, Suite 1002 (17th and JFK Boulevard). If you plan to attend, please register online. For questions about this training, please contact Patrick Christmas at pchristmas@seventy.org.

NOTE: State law prohibits nonpartisan volunteers from entering polling places on Election Day. Individuals who wish to monitor the polls directly should seek a Poll Watching Certificate, issued for general elections by the County Board of Elections at the request of candidates or political parties. Certificates for primary elections may only be requested by candidates.

Committee of Seventy staff and volunteers do not have the authority to investigate and prosecute election law violations. Suspected voter fraud, illegal electioneering or other serious election-related infractions should be reported immeadiately to the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office.

For more information, contact Patrick Christmas at pchristmas@seventy.org or 215-557-3600, ext. 114. Questions regarding the Election Ambassador Program can be directed to Walker Moseley at wmoseley@seventy.org.